This past Saturday, I was at an event that was full of love, compassion, and generosity. We partner with a nonprofit called Hope Active. They exist to serve those in need, and their goal is to alleviate some of the sufferings of despair and poverty in Jesus’ name.
Some events that we have partnered:
- A basketball camp for autistic children with Houston Rocket’s players
- An annual day to give backpacks and school supplies to families in need, typically serving over 700 children each year.
- An Angel Tree, gift-wrapping event to bless families for Christmas
- Three times in the last two years, we have hosted Hope Active events in our gym.
- Many Southeast members volunteer for these events.
- Janel Hopper, our Children and Family Minister, is on the Hope Active board.
What I found most gratifying was how they served in the name of Christ. Because of Covid, the people who came remained in their cars, and when they reached the gift station, volunteers gave them the backpacks and supplies. It was a drive-through event.
Janel, along with her family, were outside serving. She told me this story.
A car pulled up with a woman and her five grandchildren. As I greeted her, she became emotional and began to weep. She talked about losing two of her sons, one a few years ago to a gunshot wound and one to leukemia last year. She was the sole care-provider for her grandchildren, and money was tight, and life was hard. But she was thankful that her son passed before the pandemic because it would have been so much harder with him being in isolation. I offered to pray with her and she immediately said yes. I asked God to help with her grief and anxiety and for her grandchildren.
She left with five new backpacks with school supplies. But also having been touched by the blessing of someone who cared. Someone who cared enough to pray for her.
Jesus said that we will always have the poor with us, John 12:8. It’s a verse often misquoted, misapplied, and misunderstood. I have heard Christians reference the verse to justify not helping the poor, as if to say,
“Well, there’s no shortage of poor people, we can always help later.”
Not at all sure that is what Jesus meant.
I wasn’t outside in the heat ministering to those in need. I was inside with air-conditioning doing data entry. It’s okay, it all has to be done. But I was one of four who were doing the data entry. The other three were women, African American women, and Hope Active is their primary ministry. They volunteer a lot, they want to help.
I spent a couple of hours with them and was blessed by their conviction. They genuinely desire to help the least of Christ’s brothers and sisters.
It was an event full of love, compassion, and generosity. I was blessed just to be there.